Kit: The watch that can save your life

If you are going to spend a lot of money on a watch then it might as well be one that will save your life in an emergency. The Breitling Emergency II is such a watch.

It comes with a built-in locator beacon so if you get lost trekking, skiing, or at sea it will send out a global frequency SOS signal to prompt nearby rescue services to pick you up. The dual channel emergency satellite transmitter activates with a twist and a tug and is intended for extreme survival situations that occur without warning, such as a light aircraft crash landing, a yacht sinking in high seas or a mountaineering accident in remote terrain. This really is a serious adventurer's must-have kit and is an improved version of the earlier Breitling Emergency.

It is housed in a heavyweight – 140g – titanium case and is run by a revolutionary lithium-ion battery which not only provides enough power to pump out a signal strong enough to reach a satellite, but can also be regularly recharged to make sure this power will always be available.

The signals go out alternately on two frequencies, the first digital and the second analogue. This hooks the watch and its wearer up to the international Cospas-Sarsat system, a network of satellites in low-altitude Earth orbit, ground stations and co-ordinating centres that regularly attend to distress calls and are said to have saved more than 25,000 lives over the past 30 years.

Lest you think this is just an ornately decorated emergency rescue device, it should also be mentioned that the Breitling Emergency II is also a watch, and some watch at that. It is described as a thermo-compensated SuperQuartz Caliber 76 that has been officially chronometer-certified by the COSC (Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres), the Swiss body that determines what is and what is not a proper watch.

It also has a 12/24 hour analog and LCD digital display, a battery charge indicator and a multilingual calendar. It is water-resistant to 5 bar (that's 50 metres) and the dials are available in "Volcano black, Cobra yellow and Intrepid orange". And all this for a mere €13,810, or €14,450 with a titanium bracelet.

Robomow RS630

It is summer, you have a lawn the size of the Lord's infield, and you are a cash-rich, time-poor executive who can afford to splash out on a piece of equipment that promises to maintain said lawn without any effort on your part. What you need is a robotic lawnmower. One of the best on the market is the Robomow RS630, which will set you back €3,516 from This compares with €1,828 for the Bosch Indego and €3,305 for the Honda Miimo 520, neither of which quite match the Robomow's specs. What you get here is a tilt sensor which stops the blades rotating as soon as the mower tilts, an assortment of "zone options", with each zone a plot of lawn you have programmed the machine to mow, and a child guard that prevents children from operating it. It is a mean machine.

Groov-e GVSP460BK Soundblaster

There was a time when boom boxes were everywhere. These were the first generation of portable music machines that let you listen to tapes, CDs and radio programmes on a piece of equipment that could weigh the same as a Mini Metro. In those days portable was a loose term. They were made redundant by digital music, so it is good to see the boom-box aesthetics brought back in the form of a Bluetooth device that features MP3 playback (USB and SD), an FM radio with 20 pre-sets, a rechargeable battery and a USB charging port. The incredibly inexpensive (only €70 from Amazon) Groov-e GVSP460BK Soundblaster is a lovely retro-stylish piece of equipment that has excellent sound quality and adjustable bass and treble buttons. It has a Bluetooth range of 10 metres and a convenient docking cradle for your tablet or smartphone. Thoroughly worth it.